Nintendo revealed a new trailer for the highly anticipated new Zelda game at E3 this year. We now know the game is called The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, go here and check it out. In the footage, we see Link exploring an open world, navigating uneven terrain and using stealth and nature to overcome obstacles and defeat enemies. The trailer, with its glorious mountain vistas and windswept plains, hinted that there would be more exploring than we’ve seen in a Zelda game to this point. Also, the footage had a disembodied voice over of a British woman beseeching Link to ‘open his eyes’. This is likely a metaphor for the player presaging that they will see Hyrule like never before.
Nintendo issued a press release today to provide more insight into what we can expect from the new Zelda game, set to debut for the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo NX some time in 2017. The press release’s statement indicated that players will have more freedom than ever before, promising that they will be able to overcome challenges, solve puzzles and defeat enemies in a variety of ways in any order they choose. This indicates a true nonlinear progression element to the game, which should please Zelda fans to no end. Nintendo says that the tools will be available to the gamer and it will be up to them to decide how to use them.
Next, the press release stressed that getting to know the environment and foraging for resources are crucial to success. They also stated that the food Link gathers and consumes will not only restore his health but also provide him with valuable temporary buffs that will no doubt be extremely useful in given situations. Looks like the folk at Nintendo have been playing The Witcher III!
The press release goes on to explain that monsters will not always be randomly dropped into environments in the new Zelda game. Many of them will exhibit behavioral patterns that preclude wandering from their nests, and some will even live in settlements and communities they’ve established for themselves. Link’s ability to navigate the environment will not be limited except by what resources the players have gathered. Any mountain you can see can be climbed, and paragliding to lower levels will be possible for the keen eyed that see places which might otherwise be difficult to reach. The release also explained Link can slide on his shield, which sounds like an option for quickly reaching ground level again. Nintendo said that the world will be lush and varied, featuring plains, forests, mountains and much more.
Going on, the press release said that the environment will play a major role in progression in this new Zelda game, which makes sense since this game seems to be embracing the concept of nature and how Link interacts with it. Torrential downpours can douse camp fires, lightning may be drawn to metallic objects Link has equipped and his surroundings will be affected by adverse weather conditions. Link may have to change gear to suit these drastic changes as well, such as bundling up when it gets cold or not wearing steel armor when in a desert.
There are 100 different Shrines of Trial in the game and then can be challenged in any order the player desires (provided they can find them). These shrines will offer a variety of challenges, puzzles and fights that can be overcome in a variety of ways, and give rewards that will be valuable to Link in his adventure. Nintendo again stressed the aspects of exploration, freedom, discovery and choice the players will have to tackle these trials.
Nintendo finished up the press release by saying that the game would be available for the Nintendo Wii U and NX some time in 2017 and they promised amiibo functionality. There will be a new line of amiibo in support of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
- “Archer” Link (w/bow)
- “Rider” Link (on horseback)
- Guardian (the first poseable amiibo)
Nintendo said that the Wolf Link amiibo also has functionality with the new game. When a player taps Wolf Link to the GamePad, Wolf Link attacks enemies independently and will also help players as they hunt prey for food and resources. Wolf Link has three hearts, but there may be more hearts depending on whether or not players carry over save data from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. When Wolf Link’s hearts are depleted, he disappears.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be available on the Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo NX Entertainment Systems in 2017.